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Past to Present

Iranian children at the celebration of the Islamic Revolution. Behind them are portraits of Khomeini and Khamenei. 20-10-2001 //Photo Corbis
Iranian children at the celebration of the Islamic Revolution. Behind them are portraits of Khomeini and Khamenei. 20-10-2001 //Photo Corbis

Until the 1930s, the region now known as the Islamic Republic of Iran was called Persia. It borders on several historical centres of power – the Arab world, the Ottoman Empire, Russia and India – and is itself a dominant power in the Persian Gulf region. For centuries the region was administered by dynasties of shahs (kings in Farsi). The last ‘dynasty’ – Reza Pahlavi (self-appointed) and his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – dates from after World War I. This rulership terminated with the Islamic Revolution and the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. It was replaced by a political order in which the Constitution stipulates that the Supreme Leader (Rahbar) has ultimate control.

Iranian/Persian history by dynasties
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